Monday, August 25, 2008

You Tell Me...

I'm back in Downeast Maine with the kids, Walter and Allan, for the last week of summer. The leaves are starting to turn up here and it was cold enough for a fire last night.

I have a lot of stories about this house I could tell. In WWI, there was a couple, man and a very manly woman, who rented the place. Everyone believed them to be German spies from the noise of a teletype could be hear on the point. After a storm, someone came to check on the guests and heard the machine. The next day, the "couple" left.

A ship's Captain built this place for his daughter, with wood from a shipwreck. We have the plaques on the doors, as witness to the former ship.

The Captain's daughter lived here with her "friend." She then sold it two women who owned it for many years who then sold it to another single woman, who then sold it to another single woman... get the picture?

The Sorenson house, just down the road, is known to have the original owner, Mrs. Nash, come back to sit on the porch in a rocking chair, even though she died back in the early 1900's.

The Point is full of interesting history and houses kept the same for over a hundred years. The old hotel was burned to the ground by an unhappy nephew Rumbull, who was cut out of the earnings put the shoes on his horse backward so it would seem he did not go to the hotel, rather walked away. The hotel burned quickly and was the only commercial effort, build in 1891 and ashes in 1904.

When you walk down the road to the shared pump, you smell the pine and the history all at once.

Last night, at 1AM, Jake, sleeping in the upstairs of the main cottage, called out to me. I got out of bed, on the first floor, and went upstairs. At the doorway of the stairs, I smelled an intense, rotten egg odor. At the top, it was worse. Their whole room, which spans the entire house, reeked. At first I thought maybe Jake had an accident. He did not. He was standing next to his bed, clearly half awake, half asleep. I got him back in his bed and rubbed his back.

The smell was too intense. Mother alert, once fully awake, went off. I woke up Zachary and took both of them downstairs.

Why you waking me up? Zachary moaned.

Because it smells up here.

He wasn't very happy.

I tucked them in and went to investigate. I was certain it was the propane gas leaking. I went back upstairs and went to the lights- that had not been lit that day or any day recently. Not stronger there. I went downstairs and went outside- perhaps it was a bad low tide- nope. Outside did not smell at all like sulfur. I went next to the propane refrigerator, nothing. I went to every light in the downstairs- nothing.

In fact, the only place with the smell was the staircase and upstairs. Not even the dining room, where the stairs let out, had a smell to it.

I went back to bed and thought of what it could be. I was fairly certain it must be gas and that I was an idiot for not waking up Walter and Allan to help investigate. But the windows were open and... well, propane falls, it doesn't float. It's a very heavy gas.

Why only upstairs?

I finally fell asleep, knowing the CO2 detector was working on the top floor, and there was no fire lit, no sparks to fly.

This morning? Gone. The place smells completely normal.

So... you tell me. What was it?


Blogger Sue J said...

Do you use well water? Sometimes if it hasn't been used for a while it can smell like rotten eggs.

So, either that, or the ghosts.

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This reminds me of an apartment that I used to rent. Every morning (very early), my bedroom would smell like someone was in the room smoking a cigarette. Never failed between 5-6 am. I was never a smoker and just dismissed it until a new woman was in my life. She used to be a smoker and she would tell me how the smell every morning would make her crave a cig and ask me "what the hell is that!?" So I asked the upstaris neighbors who were a young couple with small children. Neither one smoked or had any idea about what I was talking about. Much later, another new woman in my life once again complained so I just finally moved. I never did find out what is was. It still bugs me.

12:10 PM  
Blogger Ms. Moon said...

Maybe it was the DEVIL! Sulfur and brimstone, etc.
On the other hand- do you have a battery of some sort? Once, when our car battery ran dry (or whatever the technical term for that is), it smelled horribly of sulfur.
Just a possibility.

12:30 PM  
Anonymous Laura said...


12:42 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I can't believe I'm saying this but: Spirits. I'd get a barn-clearer-type person in there and see what the deal is. Bye!!

2:27 PM  
Anonymous donald said...

did you check the trash? it is at the bottom of the stairs.

3:24 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

yes, donald, I checked the trash. I walked all around the house, sniffing sniffing... everything in the kitchen. dining room. living room. it was only upstairs.

no batteries.

yes, it's well water. but the water was not running and downstairs where the well water comes in, nothing. there is no water or water facets upstairs. it's just an attic space.

freaky... very freaky...

and, jake smelled it, too. wasn't just me being weird.

3:59 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

and that picture is of another house down here.

ours is much prettier. and kept up.

4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're haunted.


4:37 PM  

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